How Much Should You Work Out To Counteract A Desk Job?

How Much Should You Work Out?

Health guidelines indicate all adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of high aerobic activity every week.
However, for everyone with a desk job, even hitting those workout goals can seem like it isn’t enough. Studies suggest that sitting for long periods of time on a regular basis can negatively impact our fitness even if you do work out regularly outside of working hours.
So how can you minimize the effect this has on your overall health?


Active Desk
If your office is forward thinking enough, you could request modifications to your desk that provide you with extra exercise. Smaller changes that can make a huge difference are sitting on a medicine ball instead of a chair, which works your core as you keep balance. Alternatively, standing desks stop you from being sedentary and encourage you to move around.
For the next level offices, specially designed treadmill or cycle desks are a fitness fan’s working dream.

Your posture at work can make a huge difference to your overall health. Fitness aside, bad posture can cause muscle strain, back ache and neck issues. Most work outs will help with your posture, building the muscles that keep you upright.
Lifting weights, for example, makes posture a very important focus – you can slouch while you attempt to hit PBs, after all. Additionally, classes such as yoga and Pilates will place a lot of emphasis on posture.
It is very important to consider that even if you work out frequently, bad posture could undo some of your good work. As your muscles are recovering during your working day, they will be repairing in the position you place them in. So if you are slouched, your muscles will repair in their shortened and undesirable position. This, over time, can solidify your bad positioning and leave you at greater risk of injury.

Walk Throughout the Day
Whatever your fitness goals, make a point to walk at regular intervals. You should hit 10,000 steps a day. Invest in a pedometer or download an app onto your phone that will monitor your progress.
Even if you run that amount of steps each evening after work, you should still do regular walks in the day. Get your water from a different floor on your building and always take the stairs. Offer to do the coffee run to a café down the road.
Doing so gives your blood flow a regular boost and keeps your muscles warm and active.


Do Your Basics Every Day
If you are on a set workout regime, you may exercise a certain muscle group in isolation with each trip to the gym. Whilst you should still stick to this to make your gains, ensure you give your whole body a thorough stretch every day – above and beyond your normal warm up and downs.
Plan a mini stretch routine for during the day, too. Plan one you can do each time you nip to the toilet if you are embarrassed to stretch out by your desk.
Adding in these changes will make a big difference to your feelings of health and fitness, and will maximise your gym achievements, too.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile organisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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